Posted By Jeff Fletcher on February 7, 2009 9:42 am
Yep, SI.com is reporting it this morning. A-Rod reportedly tested positive for steroids in 2003, when MLB was conducting “survey testing” to determine whether real testing was necessary for the following year. There were no penalties for the players who tested positive, so even if A-Rod comes out and admits he did use steroids in 2003 (which is highly unlikely), Bud Selig couldn’t touch him. His reputation, of course, would be ruined.
Which brings me to the Hall of Fame.
As you remember from the discussion about my Hall of Fame ballot, I voted for Mark McGwire, ironically, because of the Mitchell Report. The Mitchell Report convinced me that steroid use was so rampant it is foolish for anyone to suggest that he can tell who was cheating and who wasn’t. I can’t. This A-Rod revelation simply furthers my point. No one is beyond suspicion. No one.
If you were a major league player from 1990-2005, you were a part of the Steroid Era. You are tainted, fair or not. Whatever you did is tainted, fair or not.
Since I’m not willing to ban all of the players from that era, I say ban none of them. Just let them all in the Hall of Fame and hope that, 100 years from now, everyone has an understanding about the context of their careers, just as we know that the game was different when Cy Young won 511 games.
We all know what was happening in baseball. We just don’t know who was doing it.